A Philanthropic Career: Arnold Beckman and Chemical Heritage in Chemistry in Australia

October 1, 2012 - Philadelphia, PA

by Neil Gussman

In 2012 the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry at the Chemical Heritage Foundation marks 25 years of support for scholarship in the history of chemistry and early science.

But really the party should have been last year. In the academic year 2011-12 and continuing this year, the Beckman Center at CHF is the largest grantor of fellowships in the history of science in the U.S.

No Ivy League university or national foundation holds first place in backing the scholarship. Across America, funding has been cut for the study of the history of science as well as science itself. Arnold and Mabel Beckman created the program when CHF was just five years old and occupied two basement rooms on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Who could have foreseen that a modest program in a fledgling organization could become the national leader.

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